Anthony Diaz, Finance

For three years, finance major Anthony Diaz has been an outfielder on the USF baseball team, and, this year, the team is well on its way to winning USF’s first Big East Baseball Championship.

Diaz loves sports, but admits that playing Division IA Baseball is the equivalent to having a part-time job.  The athletes travel and practice together for 56 regular season games, as well as spend time in the weight room and practice on their own.

Understanding that being a member of the team puts him in the spotlight, Diaz knows he must manage his time well, as student comes first in his role as student-athlete.  A finance major who is also studying mass communications, Diaz is focused in the classroom and disciplined when it comes to studying, as evidenced by his 3.93 GPA.   He was named a member of the Big East All Academic Team in both 2010 and 2011, and has been on the dean’s list every semester from 2009-2011.  Continue reading “Anthony Diaz, Finance”

Gina Ferrara, International Business

Gina Ferrara is pursuing a well-rounded education – she is double majoring in international business and marketing and she is also pursuing two minors: one in Chinese and another in information systems management.  Even with her busy schedule, Ferrera excels academically, having consistently made the dean’s list every semester that she has been at USF.

Outside of the classroom, Ferrera has served as a section leader of the USF Herd of Thunder Marching Band Drum Line.  Continue reading “Gina Ferrara, International Business”

William Halaby, Finance

William Halaby hated being labeled an “at risk” child. So much so that, thanks to the Take Stock in Children program, a decade later, Halaby is the first in his family to attend college. He will soon graduate with a bachelor’s degree in finance, a degree he earned while working part-time, serving as an intern at both T. Rowe Price and Jaffe Tilchin Wealth Management, and serving on the Honors College Student Council.

A participant in the College of Business Corporate Mentor Program, Halaby is paired with an executive from Raymond James Financial. He says the opportunity to shadow a senior executive has been invaluable.

Given his understanding of how mentoring can impact one’s life, it is no surprise that the student who is being mentored is also reaching back to be a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay. He has been matched as a Big Brother for more than a year. He has also served as a guest speaker to at risk youth through the Take Stock program that served him so well.  Continue reading “William Halaby, Finance”

Syed Hasan, Finance

Syed Hasan is passionate about helping others.  At USF, Hasan took on his first leadership role as a freshman, when he served as treasurer for Project Downtown, organization that feeds the homeless every Friday night, rain or shine.

Thanks to his efforts, for the first time a bookkeeping system for the organization was introduced.  Hasan says he learned a lot about bookkeeping from the experience.  He says he also learned about life from his newly found homeless friends, saying they helped him put life in perspective and are helping him understand the importance of gratitude.

As a member of Muslims Without Borders, a student-based humanitarian aid organization, Hasan was part of the teams that organized and collected supplies for Haiti for relief efforts as well as a national ‘can-paign’ that raised 13 tons of canned items for Africa.  In addition, Hasan is a youth counselor and motivational speaker for at-risk youth through the Muslim American Society.

Continue reading “Syed Hasan, Finance”

Kristen Keese, Marketing

Kristen Keese beams when she tells people that USF’s three-year old student organization, Future Business Leaders of America (Phi Beta Lambda), bested 20+ chapters in Florida when it was recently named the “Chapter of the Year” by the organization’s state office.  Phi Beta Lambda members, who earned 23 awards at the statewide conference, have participated in several community service projects, hosted professional development workshops, and raised funds to assist the March of Dimes.

As president of the organization, Keese launched several initiatives and marketing strategies that increased the nascent organization’s membership and ultimately helped the chapter earn the designation.  Continue reading “Kristen Keese, Marketing”

Amanda Kerney, Accounting

Amanda Kerney knows what it means to be a professional.  She began working part-time when she was 16, handling data entry for an air conditioning firm.  Soon she was tackling (then-cutting-edge) digital technology for record keeping purposes.  Seven years later, she still works there.

She is no longer the teenager who operates the scanner, however.  She has rotated through departments and works in project administration, accounting, dispatching, and payroll, among other areas.  She has worked with the executive team to create dashboards and metrics.  She has also been asked to “dissect” financial information and present it in ways that can be easily understood by mid-level managers.   Continue reading “Amanda Kerney, Accounting”

Stancey Kwakwa, Accounting

A native of Ghana, Stancey Kwakwa says it was not easy to leave Africa’s Ivory Coast to come to America.  She moved to the U.S. before graduating from high school and spent her first five months learning how to navigate new schools, applying for colleges, and understanding what it was like to be a young teen in America.  It seems fitting that, just a few years later, Kwakwa began serving as a tutor and mentor to students enrolled in Leto High School’s English as a Second Language program.  Since English was not her first language, she understood many of the frustrations these students felt and enjoyed helping them with their own transitions, as well as their math and science lessons.

An accounting major, Kwakwa is a transfer student from Hillsborough Community College, joining USF as an honor student. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society, the National Association of Black Accountants, and Golden Key Honor Society.  Continue reading “Stancey Kwakwa, Accounting”